Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 25th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Taiwan, 1987
Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Writers: T’ien-wen Chu, Chien-Ho Huang, Angelika Wang
Cast: Lin Yang, Jack Kao, Shu-Fang Chen, Shu-Fen Hsin, Chih-Cheng Hsueh, Tian-Lu Li, Ju Lin, Vega Tsai, Fu Sheng Tsui, Nien-Jen Wu, Fan Yang, An-Shun Yu
BluRay released: May 22nd, 2017
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono Mandarin
BluRay Release: Eureka Video
Region Coding: Region B / Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: £17.99 (UK)
Daughter of the Nile was directed by Hsiao-Hsien Hou, whose other notable films include, A City of Sadness, The Puppetmaster, Flowers of Shanghai and The Assassin. The title Daughter of the Nile is a reference to the Japanese Manga Crest of the Royal Family, which is read by Lin Hsiao-yang, the protagonist of the film.
At the heart of this film is a riveting melodrama about a young woman named Lin Hsiao-yang, who tries to keep her family together and balance a romantic relationship with a gangster. The narrative is well constructed and pacing is never an issue as key moments are given an ample amount of time to resonate.
The main character is well defined and the cast are all very good in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance being Lin Yang in the role of Lin Hsiao-yang. She delivers an utterly convincing performance that makes her journey all the more potent. Another performance of note is Fan Yang, in the role of Lin Hsiao-yang’s boyfriend.
Another strength of the film is its locations and nowhere is more evident, than in regards to this film’s visuals. Standout moments include, a scene where Lin Hsiao-yang’s boyfriend retaliates against gangsters who earlier had ambushed. And the film’s finale is a perfection summation to the events which have just unfolded.
Daughter of the Nile comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer for this release was sourced from a 4k restoration. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, details look crisp, there are no issues with compression and black levels remain strong throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in Mandarin and included with this release are removable English subtitles. The audio sounds, clean, clear and balanced throughout.
Topics discussed in the interview with Tony Rayns include, why this was a transitional film for director Hsiao-Hsien Hou, the origins of the film, the Manga that the film was adapted from, background information about other films directed by Hsiao-Hsien Hou, his visual style and his cinema influences.
Rounding out the extras is a booklet with cast & crew information, the film’s original press book, archival imagery and information about the transfer. Included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall Daughter of the Nile gets a solid release from Eureka Video, highly recommended.